Philly Cheesesteak Bites

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Do you ever get a really good idea and you need to make it a reality at that very moment?

Because that is basically my life at all points in time when it comes to food and music.

It’s almost addicting, but my blog makes it all seem okay.  So thanks you guys.

Anyways, my whole point is that that is how these little beauties came to be.  First, I made a French onion soup version my mom and I created over the phone (coming soon!) and then I somehow came up with these while craving Philly Cheesesteaks one day.

I’m quite a complex character, aren’t you impressed?

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Plus, aren’t they soooo cute?  I can’t get over how much I love them.

I just started with some good quality roast beef from the deli.  I’m serious about the good quality thing.  Don’t go cheap here, you really don’t need that much anyways.

Also, look for phyllo cups or  you may have to make your own which takes forever.  Really strive to find the premade cups and your life will be a breeze.

Other than that, it only takes about 5 minutes to throw together, and they freeze.  Easy appetizer much?

How great would these be for Superbowl?  I know what I’m making next year!

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Ingredients:

2 packages phyllo cups (15 per package)

1/2 lb. good quality deli roast beef, roughly chopped

Olive oil

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1/4 onion, diced (or 2 Tbs. dried onion flakes, which is what I used)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 c. provolone, shredded + 30 small slices of provolone

Preheat oven to 350* F.  Place phyllo cups on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  Add bell pepper and onion.  Saute until soft.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add roast beef , salt, pepper, and cheese,  and heat until cheese is melted.

Spoon mixture into the phyllo cups.  Top with provolone squares.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly bubbly.

Serves 8-12

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These make me happy.  I even ate them for dinner.  I had no shame.

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Just put them on a cute plate, and you’re good to go.  Instant people pleaser.

*For a vegetarian alternative, use mushrooms instead of roast beef.

XOXO Sara

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Homemade Hummus with Homemade Tahini

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Mmmm hummus.

It’s one of my faves.  But I do not love the store bought stuff.  How do you make something so healthy taste so chemical-y?  They find a way, I’m telling you.

So I made my own!  Homemade tahini and everything.

This is perfect with fresh veggies and whole wheat toasted pita bread.  I could go eat some right now, and I just might.

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I even accidentally stabbed myself with my blender to make this stuff, so sacrifice was involved.

That’s how good hummus is.  I’m willing to give some blood for it.

But somebody’s gotta do it, ya know?

Oh, did I mention how easy it is to make this?  Even homemade tahini is so simple!  Just blend up the tahini, scrape it out and make the hummus right away.  No clean up involved.  It only took me about 30 minutes, and I was on my way to Greek food heaven.  Maybe gyros will happen this weekend?  It’s so possible.

Follow the directions like this and you will have a perfectly smooth hummus!  Any other way might not end up with the best results.  Go with your gut, but keep in mind, this is my recommendation 😉

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Spoon tahini into a blender.

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Add fresh lemon juice…

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Blend away!  Let it just blend for a good two minutes.  Scrape occasionally.

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Add a bunch of chopped garlic!

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And some salt.

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And some paprika!

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And don’t forget about the olive oil.  My favorite of all the oils.

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Blend it up!  I actually used a little too much paprika so mine looked kind of reddish orange.  You do not have to make my same mistakes, but you can if you want.

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Add chick peas and blend until smooth and creamy.  (At this point, it will be thick, so add some water to get it to the desired consistency).

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Have I ever mentioned how good hummus is with warm whole wheat pita bread?  It’s da best.

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Ingredients:

2 cans chickpeas

2 Tbs. tahini

Juice of 2 lemons

8 cloves garlic (you may use less, I recommend this many though)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. paprika

1/4 c. olive oil

2-4 Tbs. water, to thin (I needed 4)

Drain chickpeas and rinse in cold water.  Set aside to drain all of the water out.

Spoon the tahini in a blender and squeeze as much lemon juice as you can in with the tahini.  Blend together for about 2 minutes, scraping occasionally.  Add garlic, salt, paprika, and olive oil.  Blend for a few more minutes, scraping sides occasionally.

Add chickpeas about 1 1/2 cups at a time.  Blend thoroughly so that the hummus is nice and smooth.  Add water to thin to desired consistency.

Makes about 4 cups.

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Delicious.

*This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free!

*Paleo: Replace chickpeas with roasted eggplant or roasted cauliflower.

XOXO Sara

Homemade Tahini

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Are you even alive anymore, Sara?

Yes, I’m alive.

Maybe.

I am in college after all.

And after a week with three tests and a few quizzes, my brain is absolutely fried.

Seriously, who the hell invented Calculus?

That guy was on something.

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This tahini recipe is actually rather impromptu, because I was originally planning on making homemade hummus and just buying a jar of tahini at the store.

Until I saw the price.  $6 for something I will use maybe once or twice before it goes bad?

No, no, and noooo.  Although I know tahini is used in more than just hummus, I didn’t even know what it tasted like at the time, much less if I would even like it enough to make other recipes for it.  And $6…?

(I am a college student after all.  If I’m spending $6 on food, it’s a vanilla bean or a latte from a cute little coffee shop, or something I know I like).

And so therefore, I relied on the wonderful internet to see if tahini is even something possible to make at home.  Good news, it’s possible!

So as I was in the middle of the baking aisle at Winco, browsing my very slow internet service on my beloved iPhone, I discovered that tahini consists of only toasted sesame seeds and oil.  There is no specific recipe, it’s kind of just a “see what happens” recipe if that makes sense.

(If not, just read on!)

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Start with some sesame seeds.  Put them in a pan, and then turn on the heat medium high.

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Lightly toast them.  Right when they start to look a little brown, take them off because they burn so quickly!  This should only take a few minutes.

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Add it to a blender or food processor.  I use a blender because I do not have a food processor (but a girl can dream!)

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Add some oil.

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Blend blend blend!

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Wala!

As it turns out, I definitely would only use tahini in recipes such as hummus or maybe salad dressing.  I know many use it in place of peanut butter, and although I thought it was delicious, it will never replace peanut butter in this girl’s heart!

But luckily for you tahini lovers, you now have a more affordable (suuuuuuper easy) alternative!

Amen.

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Ingredients:

1/4 c. sesame seeds

1 Tbs. olive oil

Place sesame seeds in a saute pan.  Heat on medium high and toast sesame seeds, but be careful not to burn them.  Pour toasted sesame seeds into a blender.  Add the oil and blend until smooth and creamy.  You may have to scrape down the sides every once in a while.

Makes about 3 Tbs. of tahini

*This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and paleo!

XOXO Sara